The Tin Man struck for a second time in a QIPCO British Champions Series contest at Ascot when landing the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
However, his connections could only celebrate after a lengthy stewards’ enquiry into interference between the winner and next two home – Tasleet and Limato.
After what must have seemed an eternity to the ten members of the Fred Archer Racing Syndicate, who own the The Tin Man, the result was allowed to stand, although winning jockey Tom Queally picked up a two-day ban.
The Tin Man, a five-year-old son of Equiano, was held up early on in the six-furlong contest but having thread a passage towards the far-side rail at the two furlong pole, the gelding stayed on tenaciously despite drifting left, to score by a neck from the fast-finishing Tasleet (7/1), trained by William Haggas in second, with Henry Candy’s well-supported 2/1 favourite Limato a further three-quarter lengths behind in third.
It was a tight finish, and slightly messy one, but not even the vanquished disputed the best horse had won on the day.
The winner clearly relishes the royal racecourse, having also won the QIPCO Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO Champions Day in October.
“I am a very relieved man. I am extremely grateful for The Tin Man, for giving a fantastic performance,” Fanshawe, said: “This horse doesn’t tell you a thing back home. He just has a buck and a kick and does none of his homework.
“Tom gave him the most beautiful ride today. The Tin Man is a star horse and we are lucky to have him. Tom has proved that there is no man better in the big races than him and he rode the horse beautifully today – it’s great for the yard as well.
“To have a horse of that calibre, with the Fred Archer Partnership, is really exciting. The horse is so laidback but, when he produces that sort of performance, it is absolutely thrilling. He is the best older horse – I am not sure about the three-year-olds – but he has done it twice now. He won the Champion Sprint last year and the Diamond Jubilee this year. He is a very, very good horse.”
He added: “We have been a bit thin on the ground with runners this year, but it doesn’t matter when you have a horse like The Tin Man to get you out of jail.”
The Tin Man has potentially set up a mouth-watering clash with Caravaggio, brilliant winner of the Commonwealth Cup 24 hours earlier, in the July Cup at Newmarket on July 15.
“I’ll see how he comes out of this race,” Fanshawe said. “He is entered in the July Cup, it’s the obvious target but we will play it by ear. I’m sure we will meet with Caravaggio at some point this year and let’s just hope The Tin Man is in one piece when they do meet up.”
Queally is destined to always be remembered for his association with the mighty Frankel, but prefers to live in the present. “You’re only as good as the horse you’re on and it’s nice to have a horse of this calibre to come to the big meetings with. This is what it’s all about.
“I’m delighted for Jacko [Fanshawe, the trainer’s wife] and all the team – the Fred Archer syndicate [which owns The Tin Man] is her initiative – the people in the office, on the yard, day in, day out.”
Tasleet, stepping up to Group One company for the first time in the hands of Jim Crowley, just missed out but William Haggas was proud of him.
“I am delighted with how the horse has run,” said Haggas of the four-year-old colt by Showcasing. “To run and win on soft ground last time, and to run like that on fast ground today, proves that I have been an idiot not running him over six furlongs until today! He’s a good horse.
Of the final furlong bumps, he said: “I don’t know, it’s one of those things. Jim said there was a hell of a headwind and they were all over the place, but my mate’s won the race, so I can swallow that!”
Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, said: “Hopefully we come back here in October for the QIPCO Champion Sprint Stakes, all being well.”
Henry Candy, the trainer of third-placed Limato, wasn’t looking for excuses despite his charge being a little squeezed for space as The Tin Man edged left in the closing stages.
“Ryan said he was third best at that stage – end of story,” Candy said.n”I’m delighted with his run. It’s good to have Santa Anita and Dubai out of the way – he’s back on track.
“It will be a toss-up (next) between the July Cup and the Lennox. Ryan is rather in favour of the July Cup, which is quite surprising as he would be on Caravaggio in that.”
Dean Ivory, trainer of fourth-placed Librisa Breeze, said: “He has been off for a while – he hadn’t had a run this year – so I’m absolutely delighted with him. We haven’t thought beyond today.”